This year I am trying to devote a bit more time to Wizard’s Tower. We have the new Juliet McKenna novel due very soon now, and I have another project I am hoping very much will happen. Anthologies have been a bit complicated due to Jo & Roz being engaged in a protracted house moving process. That, however, is finally sorting itself out, and we have decided to do a second steampunk book.
Airship Shape & Bristol Fashion 2: Rail, Sea and Sky, as the subtitle suggests, will have a theme of transport. Brunel’s original vision for Bristol was to be a transit interchange where rail passengers from London could transfer onto luxury liners to cross the Atlantic. Since his time, Bristol has become famous for aircraft manufacture. And because this is steampunk there is no reason why Bristol could not become a major spaceport with aetherflyers leaving for the British colonies on the Moon, Mars and Venus.
Adventure can come in many ways. Trains can be robbed by masked automata; ships can be menaced by a giant kraken; airships can be hijacked by foreign agents; and aetherflyers can be raided by Venusian pirates. As with Airship 1, we are hoping that contributors will take the opportunity to interrogate Victorian society and question the conservative values for which it has become notorious.
We have got a lot of the old gang back together for book two. Jo and Roz will be editing it again, Andy Bigwood is hopefully doing the cover, and we have confirmed stories from Ken Shinn, Ian Millsted, Pete Sutton, Scott Lewis, John Hawkes-Reed, Andy Bigwood, Roz Clarke, Deborah Walker, Piotr Świetlik, Jonathan L Howard, Stephen Blake and, er, me. What can I say? I had a totally batshit idea; Jo & Roz liked it.
That leaves us at least 3 spaces for additional stories. We may take more if we get a lot of great submissions. We can only afford to pay £50 per story, so it is nowhere near professional rates, but this series is all about encouraging new writing so who knows what we’ll discover.
For full details of the submission guidelines, deadlines, etc., see the Wizard’s Tower website.